BitStamp, the London-based exchange, announced the launch of a pre-paid debit card that can be loaded with bitcoin. Now, the exchange’s customers can get their prepaid debit virtual or plastic cards with the balance denominated either in euros, British pounds, or American dollars, reads the company’s announcement.
Prepaid debit cards program is launched in cooperation with the European and Latin American payment processor AstroPay. in fact, the London-based company runs the biggest payment network in Latin America and has teamed up with several Bitcoin firms in the past, including cryptocurrency development company Ripple Labs, Latin American Bitcoin exchange Bitex.la, and the now-defunct exchange Mt Gox, according to Bitcoin Magazine.
BitStamp claims that the debit cards can be used at POS devices and internet websites worldwide. Currently, a pre-paid debit card program is not yet available for US citizens. The Bitcoin exchange expects to enlarge the service area, but Nejc Kodrič, BitStamp founder and CEO, says that the launch date hasn’t been decided.
According to Finance Magnates, Bitstamp ranks among the top crypto exchanges in USD volume, and typically among the top eight in overall volume.
The customers who order the debit cards, first get a virtual one that can be used only at online websites. A plastic card can be ordered for $10. BitStamp says that if customers want to convert their virtual cards into physical ones, the card will be sent within 10-15 business days along with activation details and instructions.
Having received the card, customers can transfer bitcoin from a BitStamp account to it. Transferring funds will carry flat $10 fee for amounts up to $1000.
A 2 percent fee will be taken for amounts above $1000.
Along with virtual prepaid debit cards, customers will also get an email with credentials to their control panel at Cardportal.com where they can edit details, view their transaction history, retrieve PIN number, upgrade their cards, and report lost or stolen card.
There are three stages of verification, each with its own spending limit. The most basic stage requires no additional know-your-customer(KYC) verification and allows transactions up to €2,500 worth of annually. At this stage, no ATM access is provided. At the second and the third stages of verification, ATM access and card-to-card transfers are allowed.
The spending limit of the second and the third stage is €60,000 and €125,000, respectively. The stage with the highest annual spending limit, the third one, requires government ID, proof of residence, and a certified copy of the source of funds document. Plus, BitStamp offers to go through additional verification procedure to raise the annual loading limit.